Amongst the many benefits of the new ‘working from home’ normal is a positive impact on the sustainability of a myriad of initiatives. Economic growth has, in the past, exacted a heavy toll on climate change, sustainable urban living, and responsible consumption.
This drastic reduction of employee and employer carbon footprint has led to a remarkable improvement in intra-city congestion and pollution. Remote work is a sustainable economic growth feature and is the future of the labor landscape. Despite all its benefits, working from home has unique challenges as well. Some of these challenges include:
1. Coordination and communication challenges
According to David Heinemeier and Jason Friend, the founders of Basecamp, communication is foundational to the success of a remote working team.
The authors of REMOTE: Office Not Required, say that bad blood can easily develop between work from home teams when the bulk of their communication takes place through email. This set up will quickly snowball small blunders into full-blown melodramas if they are not quickly nipped in the bud.
Fortunately, a whole industry sprung up around team collaboration tools that make it easier for employees to communicate effectively. Aira, for instance, is a meeting assistant that automatically records and transcribes meeting dialogue.
This robust voice AI platform will save all your meeting notes in one location. She will also help all remote working teams keep track of all online meetings deliberations. Aira doubles team productivity, info sharing efficiency, and multiplies sales increase. Team collaboration tools ensure that no member of the team feels left out of the loop.
Professor Robert Kelly’s BBC interview that earned him the title of ‘BBC Dad” is a perfect example of how distracting the work from home environment is.
In the 2017 live interview with the British news channel, the professor’s two children made a comical entrance to his home office as he talked about the ouster of Park Geun-Hye of South Korea. Parents working from home watched in amusement as Kelly kept composure during the brief scene, keeping the show running.
Most parents can relate to the live TV blooper because they all struggle to maintain a work and home life balance when they have work near their children. One of the major reasons some employees embrace working from an office is to build a firm barrier between their home and work life. To work successfully from home with fewer distractions, you need a designated work spot, devoid of all disturbances.
Have some noise-canceling headphones to eliminate auditory distractions. Set up firm rules with your family and politely ask them to behave as if you were away at work when you are at work from home.
3. Time management
Employers have the innate fear the remote work employees will slack off in the absence of oversight. Most times, the opposite is the reality.
Most work from home employees will overwork because they find it harder to switch off. Surrounded by all the tools needed to put in extra work, they will have a harder time drawing the line. This challenge becomes even more complex when you are working for yourself.
Every remote worker needs to establish a work schedule that keeps them from overworking or slacking off. This rota will keep you productive and give you ample time to be with family and friends. Use tools such as an AI meeting assistant, Trello, Asana, and Evernote to schedule, manage time and tasks, and organize your work hours.
4. Lack of social interaction
Co-workers are often an employee’s main social circle if they do not have a close family. If you are working from home, isolation can be a challenge if you spend days by yourself. To lessen the feeling of being a hermit, have social breaks in your work schedule.
Go out for lunch with friends or grab yourself a snack from a friendly food shack attendant down the street. Take your computer with you to a co-working space occasionally, or work from a coffee shop and enjoy the social environment. Join local organizations and groups for meet-ups and recreation.
5. Technology hiccups
Challenges such as internet outages can make remote work a problem. You do not want your connection or computer to crash right in the middle of an important zoom meeting. To avoid such inconveniences and for your peace of mind, have a backup plan. You can, for instance, a mobile hotspot device for an alternative internet connection and a backup tablet or laptop at hand.
Ditching the daily commute, working from anywhere in the world, and a flexible work schedule are some advantages of working from home. The challenges above, however, can make remote work unproductive if you do not use them to create structure, routine, and discipline.
Virtual meetings are becoming more acceptable. Ever since countries started locking down their borders due to the threat of covid19, companies have had to embrace the idea of conducting their operations digitally. Virtual meetings are now the order of the day, and we have many innovative tools rising to meet this demand. Whether you want to hold a team meeting, pitch a customer, conduct a demo, host a training session, or even run an industry conference, an AI-led tool like Aira is a worthwhile asset to have.
Why virtual meetings?
It is undeniable that face to face meetings introduce the human touch to doing business. Virtual meetings have been evolving towards providing the same experience, and this is evidenced by:
Tools for holding meetings are becoming more advanced; more intuitive
As such, technology is taking over the bulk of the work involved in meeting management. For instance, Aira will attend meetings for you, take meeting notes and email them. In addition, because of Aira’s integrative ability with your CRM, your meeting discussions, files, minutes and action points, become part of your entire team’s workflow.
Benefits of holding virtual meetings include:
Virtual meetings are inexpensive because they eliminate the cost of travel
You save time and energy whenever you hold your meetings virtually because you don’t need to go anywhere. Time spent on the road or up in the air, is then allocated to activities that have more strategic importance.
There is also the added comfort of a virtual meeting; you can hold one from anywhere. In other words, when you go virtual, you give your team the freedom to work from anywhere.
How can you run a great virtual meeting?
Running a successful virtual meeting requires some preparation before, during and after the meeting.
1. Ensure video works
When choosing your conferencing tools, ensure you get one that offers an excellent video experience. Video increases engagement and interaction because participants can observe each other’s responses to discussions. Video also tells you when people start to lose attention. You can then respond appropriately, by for instance calling for a break.
2. Send the meeting agenda in advance
This gives your team time to process what the meeting will mean to them. Participants will also:
Come up with ideas
Note: Before you send a meeting agenda, you need to choose a date that guarantees maximum attendance. As much as a tool like Aira can attend a meeting and send minutes of meeting when a participant is absent, having everyone “present” creates more engagement.
3. Set the meeting tone
Do you want people to respect your meetings and take them seriously? Then set the tone. An agenda is one way to do it, but also drumming up support for key areas of discussion helps people anticipate real value coming out of the meeting.
4. Minimize the number of meetings you hold
A great thing about sending out agenda items is that they help you gauge whether you even need a meeting in the first place. When your team and clients see the meeting agenda, they will comment and based on those comments, you can take the requisite actions.
There is no need to hold meetings if the team doesn’t agree that the issues being discussed do not hold any business value.
5. Do your homework
A day after sending out the agenda, reach out to individual members to get their opinions. Build on that opinion or use it to bolster your own point of view. When you obtain information in advance,
You “sit” with that information and find the interconnectedness in opinions
You get to define where an idea starts and stops, or where offshoots of new ideas begin to crop up
You get a deeper understanding of team pain points, explore their impact, then craft solutions for them or start a whole new discussion around them
You can create a powerful presentation that will keep everyone gripped during your meeting.
Note: when you reach out to people individually, it shows that you value their opinion. This can only benefit your team.
During the meeting
The meeting has now started. You should have a good turnout if you prepared. So how do you now ensure that your meeting runs successfully?
6. Let the team get comfortable with each other
If you are meeting with few participants, let them introduce themselves.
An introduction session is a great way to set the tone
Introductions also get people to talk about their pain points
7. Encourage collaboration
You have already established the pain points or challenges from individual group members. Form your discussions around these challenges. Give team members an opportunity to brainstorm and generate ideas around those challenges.
Everyone in the team takes ownership of the problem and becomes excited to take part in solving it
It’s easier to gauge level of expertise and figure out how to apportion action points or group people into project teams
8. Establish meeting rules
Turn your phones off, and do not “check out” until the meeting is over.
Do not interrupt when someone is talking
Mind your language and have respect for all meeting attendants
Allow everyone’s input. Every participant should “raise their hand” and contribute their point of view
9. Keep everyone engaged
A great way to keep people engaged during virtual meetings is to call on them and give them tasks to be conducted after the meeting, or occasionally direct questions at them. At certain times during the meetings, stop and randomly ask a member for their input.
After the meeting
10. Send meeting notes
A great meeting tool takes meeting notes for you and thankfully, Aira does just that. After the meeting, Aira will automatically mail the action points or participants can simply log into the tool to access minutes and more.
It’s okay to allow people to disagree. This happens often in physical office settings, and you should also accommodate it in a virtual space. Before you end your meeting, allow people to have an informal discussion session where they express what they would do differently.
Calls for a workplace meeting are often met with a level of murmuring and groaning rather than a “Heck yeah! Let’s do this!” While meetings often bring the best ideas to light, According to a study done by Verizon Conferencing, most heavy meeting goers have at one time or the other attended dysfunctional meetings.
Consequently, 90% of them admit to missing bits of the meeting or daydreaming when in a meeting due to flawed meeting behavior. At least 70% of them admit to bringing other tasks to these gatherings while 40% of them simply go off to the land of nod. Most meetings start very unsoundly, setting a wrong tone for the remainder of the event. Here’s the most right way to start a meeting:
Informing participants of the meeting’s purpose and outcome
Circulate your meeting’s agenda to all participants beforehand via Aira. Aira is an AI meeting assistant that makes meeting notes and shares them with all meeting members. She is an artificial intelligence technology powered tool that can share your meeting’s agenda and past minutes before and after the meeting.
At the beginning of a meeting, your participants have two major concerns in their minds. They will want to understand right off the bat why they are in attendance and why they should care about the meeting’s agenda. Most guides will tell you that the best way to start your meeting is by reviewing your agenda, then heading straight to the agenda’s topics.
This process has its benefits but it will not highlight the benefits of the meeting. It will also not bring to light the reasons why they should count the meeting as of any importance to them. To capture the member’s attention from the word go, and also set your conference up for success, give them the answers to these two questions first.
With Aira by your side, you should, therefore, start your meeting by informing the associates of the purpose and the outcome that they should expect. You can, for instance, start with words such as “At the end of this meeting, you will all walk away with…” You can alternatively kick off the meeting with a “the intention of this meeting is…” Such words will get everyone on the same page and ensure that your meeting is a success.
Empower the meeting participants
When it comes down to it, most employees do not know how to behave in a meeting. Some want to look less weird and normal while others are intimidated by the thought of conversing with the person sitting across the table.
There are also lots of silly rules out there that may hinder the participant’s ability to collaborate with others and to display their value. Meetings provide fantastic opportunities for workers to show leadership and problem-solving skills. You should, therefore, start the meeting by shattering the ceiling of unnecessary interpersonal dynamics and secret corporate etiquette.
Get rid of all veiled social rules and the pressure to perform that makes the members edgy and panicky. Empower the delegates and allow them to understand the power that they have in a meeting room. Give them the authority over their contributions by ensuring that they do understand the level of engagement expected from them.
Empowered partners will be open to discussions and participation. Start your meeting by voicing an empowering statement like” you are our select team, chosen to vet our marketing process because you have a deep understanding of our strengths and weaknesses”.
A study done by MIT research says that the collective intelligence of a team is determined by the equal participation capacity of its members.
Restate your meeting’s ground rules
Every business has as part of its cultures, directives that dictate how its meetings flow. Encouraging engagement is a great way to start a meeting, but you should state the boundaries as well. It is important however not to overdo the law setting at the commencement of your meeting.
You can incorporate this feature by picking one salient to the discourse at hand. As an illustration, you can ward off passive aggression by reinstating that all challenges should be addressed in the course of the meeting only and not before or after it. This will ensure more productivity and unity in collaboration.
If your powwow misses a strong start, its members will quickly get off track or zone out, so you must know the right way to start a meeting. If, you don’t want to chair a disorganized meeting avoid casting shadows by creating the wrong idea about your meeting. Begin your meeting with a positive note to foster efficiency. You can break the ice with a story, poignant quote, or interesting statistic then rope them further using one of the tactics above. Use meeting tools such as Aira to analyze your meeting data to ensure that optimization fosters high engagement.
Economic uncertainties will always be with us; the thing is, we cannot predict when they will hit us, what shape or form they will come in, or how long they will last. In light of this, the important thing for businesses is to ensure that teams are supported and have the agility to adjust to changing working environments. You need to prepare your team to work remotely, not just now when the world has to grapple with covid19, but in the future as well.
There is a common misconception that remote work is all about conference calls. While video calls and chats are an important part of getting work done remotely, when we talk about finding tools to support remote teams, we have to look beyond conferencing. Supporting remote working is about team empowerment, and to do this, your company needs to create a tech stack that guarantees team efficiency and effectiveness regardless of their location. Your team needs to feel confident that they don’t have to be office-bound to deliver on business objectives.
In this article, we have compiled a list of 10 ai technology tools that will help your team stay organized, increase efficiency and collaborate better while working remotely.
Slack is best known for its “channel” approach to managing communication.
The thinking behind channels is that when running projects, it can be difficult to track communication, attachments, and tasks via email. Slack seeks to solve this problem through channels that bring teams together around a common purpose.
Slack organizes work based on projects, topic, or team. This way, anyone in your organization can find how to best contribute by being a part of a channel that supports their role.
The great thing about slack is that it can also incorporate external teams, fostering collaboration with your partners.
Other features include:
You can communicate with team members directly on the channel and get instant alignment
Save and search messages and files on slack
Save time by getting all people in one place
Achieve business-critical tasks such as: setting budgets, see budget approval, work on projects, etc.
More transparency through public channels, or increased security through private channels
Pin messages or documents that you want to call attention to
Star channels that are important to you
Integrate with other workplace tools like google drive or one drive. You can also connect to CRM tools like JIRA, Salesforce, Zendesk or own software so that you never miss important alerts and notifications
Work on the go with slack on mobile
Enterprise grid: contact the sales team
2. Microsoft Teams
Microsoft teams help teams to not only communicate instantly while working but also reduce email clutter.
Microsoft Teams is a remote work tool that combines powerful communication capabilities of chat, voice and video, with collaboration capabilities such as document storage and office 365 integration. It can also integrate with third-party software through extensions, making it a must-have for enterprises or large teams.
Record meetings for future reference and to keep absent members in the loop
Pause recordings to answer questions
Allow teams to join from anywhere
For educational institutions, create a virtual classroom and bring all assignments and files in one place, to collaborate virtually in real-time
Have one on one meetings or meet as a group
Keep your team connected in the following ways:
Use the chat, to have “water cooler” talks with colleagues.
Brainstorm on Microsoft whiteboard
Have team building through virtual coffees
Have fun, encourage teamwork and reward performance through teams
Microsoft teams free: $0
Microsoft 365 business basic: $5/user/mo
Microsoft 365 business standard: $12.50/user/mo
Office 365 E3: $20/user/mo
Zoom is a chat, audio and video conferencing app that has become almost synonymous with remote working. It allows people to communicate by joining a zoom meeting or zoom room. Zoom room refers to hardware that allows you to convert your conference rooms to a zoom-meeting.
Despite zoom’s popularity, incidents of “zoom bombing” have raised concerns regarding its level of security particularly for teams that need to safeguard their work. However, as team Zoom maintains that it offers AES 256-bit GCM encryption, you should contact them before purchase, to ensure that their security protocols are aligned to your organization’s requirements.
Zoom has the following features:
You can use chat during meetings without interrupting others
Hold meetings with large groups of people without compromising call quality
Record calls and distributes recordings after your meetings
Integrate with your calendar and CRM. Zoom also integrates with slack
Control your meetings with host options
Stream live on Facebook and YouTube and other proprietary software
Get meeting analytics
Business: $19.99 /mo/host
Enterprise: contact sales
4. Google Calendar
Google Calendar is a calendar, task organizer, appointment setting, and meeting scheduling tool all wrapped in one. It simplifies time management by helping individuals and teams to keep busy days organized. To use google calendar, you need a google account (Gmail address).
Google Calendar has the following features:
It allows you to have a remote meeting through google hangouts
If you want to know what you have scheduled on specific days, type, or voice search “what’s my calendar” on google search. The results are private
You can sync your personal and work calendars into google calendar to get a holistic view of your day
Add colleagues’ calendars to your google calendar to enable you to organize meetings with teams. Note: you’ll need to as your colleagues’ permission before you add their calendars.
Share attachments when scheduling events
Set event reminders and notifications
Use drag and drop function to schedule meetings in no time at all
Automatically schedule events straight from your email
Track projects by adding and monitoring tasks and sub-tasks
Send daily agenda via email
Embed your calendar into your website so that your clients can book meetings with you
Google calendar can also integrate with most meeting tools including zoom, Aira, Slack, among others. You can also sync your google calendar into your iPhone calendar by enabling that function in your phone settings.
Meeting management can be quite tricky without an intelligent tool like AIRA. This state of the art AI technology meeting assistant:
Records and transcribes meetings
Highlight keywords in meeting notes to make tracking action items and topics easier. Teams can search for notes and action items based on keywords.
Organizes actions points and automatically emails them
If you have scheduling conflicts, Aira will join meetings for you
AIRA syncs with popular calendars like google calendar
Has intelligent analytics that allows you to improve future meetings and drive organizational performance
Pricing: Contact team Aira for pricing and demo
Internal systems, intranets, and printouts do not work when it comes to managing projects remotely. Remote project management is best accomplished with a tool like Asana, whose features enable teams to stay organized, communicate and get aligned.
The transition to remote work can create silos, but Asana’s design ensures that teams work and collaborate transparently.
Asana has the following capabilities that make remote project management easy and enjoyable:
Get an entire view of project timelines, to keep you on schedule for each task in real-time
Easily identify problems in task scheduling and fix dependency conflicts at project start
Give everyone visibility to get easier buy-in
Adjust aspects of the project as you go and keep everyone appraised of such changes
Import spreadsheets into asana to make project tracking simpler
Manage team workload to ensure everyone remains productive
Manage new project requests through forms, to avoid getting overwhelmed
Enterprise: Contact the team
Trello is also a great project management tool and is a great addition for teams that handle lots of internal projects, such as a software creation company. Agencies that need to work with external clients could also make their work easier with Trello, as they can give visibility of projects to their clients.
One great thing about Trello is its Kanban-based approach to project management, whereby task organization falls under lists, cards and boards.
If you are an agency or run a consultancy, you can create a Trello board, where customers can track progress in areas of interest to them.
Simply create a board and invite a team to collaborate
Add details to Trello cards, such as attachments, comments or due dates
View at a glance, progress on all your tasks
Automate to eliminate tedious tasks
Sync across all devices so your teams work from anywhere
Integrate with the tools that your team already uses
Business-class: $9.99 per user/month
Enterprise: $17.50 per user/month, on a sliding scale.
Remote work can result in diminished support for your customers.
Hubspot is a CRM software that will come in handy when you need to ensure that your customers are being contacted and given the support they need. Through HubSpot, you can create a log of your interactions with customers at different touchpoints, and in this way:
Address any red flags before they become problems
Pursue opportunities that arise during interactions with customers
With HubSpot, you can ensure that customers barely notice a lack of face to face interaction.
But HubSpot isn’t just a tool for customer support. It has powerful marketing capabilities such as lead scoring, email marketing, ad management, etcetera
You can also manage your sales organization from HubSpot by tracking deal pipelines.
In addition to offering a free subscription, HubSpot offers the following paid subscription options:
If your business model is primarily in-person, or if you have a dedicated customer service function, Zendesk will ensure your customer service team continues to offer uninterrupted support through phone, email, chat and social media.
Zendesk is easy to use and tracks customer queries through a ticketing system.
Other features include:
Analytics to track issue response, logging and resolution
A full sales suite to help your teams’ close deals. The sales suite is supported by live chat, voice, SMS, and automated email sequences that make deal closing easier.
You no doubt have a workflow in your company and to achieve your goals, that workflow has to be synergistic. That’s where Unito comes in.
All work processes, including launching a marketing campaign, lead generation, order management, holding meetings, providing customer care, etc., are all one-stop processes. As each of these processes operates within a different function in your organization, you have most likely invested in dedicated tools for each one. This, in itself, could create silos. Silos break down team synergy and transparency.
Unito helps you create complete workflows by interconnecting your various tools. This way, your remote teams can have a smooth flow of information and collaborate transparently with each other.
Business X: $225
Enterprise: Contact the team
Next steps: Explore these ai technology tools
That’s it for now! We urge you to try these tools (some of them have free trial periods that last as long as 2 weeks long), and if you find that they support your way of working, give them a go.
The tools you choose need to support what your company does and how it does it.
Do you, for instance, interact a lot? In that case, you should lean more towards investing in the best communication tools.
Is your company sales oriented? If yes, invest in tools that will empower sales capabilities.
Having a productive online sales meeting is vital for generating sales. This is especially so now, where the isolation-related stress wrought on by the COVID19 pandemic can make it is difficult for salespeople to feel excited about work.
In this article, we will discuss how AIRA can help your team remain productive during their online sales meetings. AIRA is an AI-enabled meeting tool that works by making meetings efficient. With prior planning and stress-free preparation, salespeople can begin looking forward to their online sales meetings and also be productive while in attendance. We will show you to make this happen with AIRA.
What are the prerequisites for a productive meeting?
Before we go into how AIRA can help make your online sales meetings productive, let’s first consider the makings of a successful meeting. What do you need to have a productive meeting?
A meeting agenda tells participants what to expect from a meeting. That is:
Why they are meeting. e.g, what will they discuss? You can arrange this in topics, designate speakers and allot them time so that they prepare ahead of time
The expected outcome of the meeting
Always send your meeting invites a few days prior, and call attention to any preparation by key speakers.
A meeting agenda sets the tone of any meeting. The great thing about AIRA is that because it assigns action points after the meeting, it sets the tone for future meetings, ensuring that action-tracking becomes a continuous agenda until goals are accomplished. In addition, AIRA’s keywords feature ensures that future meetings can be grouped around a specific action or task.
A meeting should add value to its participants by:
Prov.iding information that makes goal achievement possible or easier
For instance, market share, competitor activities, market trends, new opportunities
People own the results of a meeting when they participate actively. A high level of participation begins with inviting the relevant people to a meeting.
Meeting recurrence should be kept regularly to ensure that sales performance is analyzed constantly. Recurrences block off certain days or hours of the week. This keeps your team on a routine and gives them a strict timeframe within which to complete tasks.
As Aira is AI, it can quickly analyze people’s calendars and then select a meeting time that suits everyone. This ensures a higher level of attendance.
The benefits of using AIRA for conducting productive online sales meetings
A survey conducted among 1000 workers across 4 European countries found that 90% of employees show signs of stress when faced with new or troublesome technology during meetings.
Employees also waste a lot of time troubleshooting, prior or during the meeting, either:
Trying to fix the problem (66%)
Coordinating with IT support to fix the problem (50%)
Preparing handouts as plan B (50%)
15% of those surveyed even said that they postpone meetings until the technical problem can be resolved.
As remote working became the new normal for everyone, people have had to learn technology almost overnight and use it to run every aspect of the business. In addition to the stress of facing possible job cuts, due to shrining business prospects, having technology that is hard to understand and operate can push workers to the edge.
AIRA is pretty much plugged and play, and this ensures stress-free meetings in the following ways:
It’s easy to set up and use
Anyone can use Aira, even with little to no technical know-how. It’s also very integrative, and most of these processes are automatic and require little to no setup.
Some characteristics that denote AIRA’s ease of use include:
It integrates with your calendar, so you don’t need to do that yourself
Its interface is intuitive, hence user-friendly
It integrates well with meeting room equipment
Salespeople can use Aira while on the move, by dialing in from their mobile phones
Ensuring meeting relevance
One of the biggest time wasters for employees in any organization is attending meetings that aren’t necessary or relevant. Additionally, once in the meeting room, it is easy to get diverted and have meetings that aren’t productive. To ensure meeting relevance, Aira:
Invites the right people
Sets meeting goals and objectives beforehand
Keeps track of meeting time and ensures that you get the most from your allotted time
Records and transcribes meeting action points, which keeps subsequent meetings on the topic
Makes use of keywords so that salespeople and other team members can follow up based on topics that are most relevant to them
Voice AI leaves attendants free to concentrate on meeting agenda
Taking meeting notes can waste time during meetings if people have to pause to accommodate the slower speed of manual note-taking. Participants also have to contend with interruptions when asked to rephrase or restate a point. All these factors can cause meeting participants to lose concentration and deviate from the meeting agenda.
With AIRA, meeting attendants don’t have to worry about missing a point. This is because AIRA automatically records meeting notes, and then transcribes them.
In addition, eliminating note-taking tasks means that meeting participants can concentrate on developing ideas and furthering the meeting agenda.
Reduce monotonous tasks
Imagine if you have to schedule meetings every week and each time, your tools fail. You would then have to spend a lot of time on manual meeting management and this would leave you little time to be productive in other areas.
One study found that an organization can lose up to 47,000 hours of total employee time per year, just on meeting scheduling.
Meeting management can interfere with employee productivity (source: Hubspot)
When meeting organization and management becomes routine, having an AI tool such as Aira to handle such tasks leaves you free to focus on other important matters.
Meeting tools should enhance how you conduct meetings by improving attention, enhancing collaboration and promoting accountability. Aira does this and more, by taking the stress out of meeting management to guarantee productive online sales meetings.
Technologists began to advocate for robust teleconferencing platforms to eliminate the then unpredictability of remote meetings.
They also encouraged innovators to preserve the face-to-face aspects of meetings to accommodate valuable eye contact and non-verbal cues features of meetings.
The online meeting tools that arose from this clarion call were wonky, hampered by a lack of innovation. The choice of meeting tools was few, with limited processing power.
The online meeting of the day was not as productive as it is today, where meetings can run on elegant, portable mobile screens.
Fortunately, today’s innovators have delved deep into advanced online meeting support platforms research. They have beautifully infused old technology with robust machine learning algorithms and ai technology.
What is Machine Learning Algorithms and AI?
Machine learning is an artificial intelligence learning process. It was born from the old school form of pattern learning, which emphasizes computer learning in the absence of certain programming aspects.
Machine learning exposes models to data allowing them to adapt to it independently. Machine learning algorithms enable computers to make repeatable decisions and reliable results.
Artificial intelligence, on the other hand, is a broad science that programs machines to mimic human faculties. Online meeting tools powered by machine learning algorithms and ai are powerful, reliable, and predictive. These tools have massive data saving and assimilation abilities.
The introduction of AI innovation in online meeting tools has led to the discovery of tools like AIRA. AIRA is an intelligent meeting companion that not only takes meeting notes, but transcribes them and shares them with all meeting participants.
She is an AI-powered tool that can automatically schedule your online meetings and dial into the meeting when it commences. Below are the reasons why tools like AIRA are imperative for online meetings.
1. Meeting scheduling
Ask any office assistant and they will tell you that meeting time management and scheduling are vital skills for a meeting’s success. The fact is, there are tons of scheduling tools out there, but most workers often have conflicting timings when meetings are scheduled. Why does this happen?
While the planning and scheduling bit seems deceptively simple, it is not easy to find a time and date that works perfectly for every meeting member.
A simple recommendation of a day or time can bring forth a mess of emails, asking for clarifications on time zones, week, month, or even year!
The person scheduling the meeting might not have ample time, to deal with all these communications while handling their core job and other life challenges. They therefore do not have time to spend in the search for the perfect and optimal meeting time for everyone involved.
Enter meeting personal assistants powered by AI. They will take on the scheduling bit of the meeting, contact every participant, and take into consideration the meeting’s schedule preferences. The AI tool will select the optimal meeting time for all participants and display it to all members.
The AI meeting assistance will also eliminate common scheduling problems like double booking, reschedules, cancellations, and reminders.
2. Time management
Meeting leaders not only face the challenge of updating every member’s calendar and sending email reminders but that of choosing meeting participants as well.
Besides, most employees prefer short meetings that also save on man-hour costs of long meetings. You however have to be careful to ensure that you have enough members at hand to cover the agenda.
The AI meeting assistant can help solve this dilemma by availing enough company data on the agenda at hand. The AI tool will give you access to external data sources and analytics from past meeting behavior and occurrences to help you chart your time management strategy.
The meeting bot will distribute all your meeting topics appropriately to help you cut out all delays, filler discussions and other time wasting occurrences. Good planning will improve the flow of the meeting and increase productivity.
The meetings bot will also help identify the ideal meeting members as per their relationship, role, or expertise.
3. Enhancing collaboration
The ideal online meeting should not be hampered by the usual physical limitations of data access. There should be abundant data at hand to keep all members well informed.
Physical meetings often have the challenge of data access, because a meeting leader cannot accurately anticipate all the information that a meeting will require.
AI tools can, therefore, cut down the frustration that limited data access brings to meetings. These tools can give access to all critical data, before, during, and after the meeting.
As an illustration, in a meeting where drawings and documents are shared on a weekly basis, all team members will need to access the updated version of the information before the meeting.
Since there are most likely dozens of versions of this data in your business’s computers, the AI can scrape through your servers and access the documents needed for the meeting, ensuring that they are up to date.
The bot can also share these latest versions of documents with all team members. When the meeting commences, the AI will also present the required videos, images, data charts, and web links as per the keyword or topic in discussion.
4. Accurate minute taking
Distractions are very costly to productivity. Studies show that once you are distracted from work activity, you will need close to 23 minutes to get back to your productive element.
There are therefore few things as frustrating as a motivated worker who is forced to lose their focus and has to face the uphill battle of concentrating once more on the matter at hand.
Unfortunately, this situation minute taking puts many minute writers in. Minutes are not a transcription of the discussion in place. They simply summarize any critical information as per the agenda.
This summary is later on typed and sent to all participants for collaboration and accountability purposes.
The challenge of minute taking is that the members do not always keep to the agenda. Side issues will creep in distracting the focus of the meeting.
The minute writer will often be caught between the various ongoing discussions, unable to accurately track all deliberations around the table. A meeting set up therefore strains a minute writer’s active listening skills.
In the process of separating key facts in long discussions, they will become very distracted and will most likely not make their contribution to the agenda. Visual meeting assistants like AIRA will take all meeting notes and transcribe every topic discussed during your meeting.
These AI tools have a voice to text features that can help all members scan back through all topics that have been discussed.
The meeting members can use these tools to highlight any questions that arise from the deliberations and table them to the chairperson without distracting the flow of the meeting.
5. Handling after the meeting procedures
After a meeting, the minute writer also has duties that take more of their work time. They have to ensure that the ideas arising from the meeting are kept in memory and put in action.
They have to ensure accountability and follow up by producing all the meeting minutes promptly. They should also distribute the minutes to all participants either physically or via email.
The meeting leader should also ensure that all documents pertaining to the meeting are archived together for use when they question arise in future meetings. The meeting leader also has to remind the meeting members of any uncompleted action items via phone calls or emails.
The AI meeting assistant tool will not only take up all these post-meeting tasks but will do so accurately. The online meetings tool will free the hands of your meeting leader so that they can focus on the meeting and offer their valuable contributions.
They will also ensure that the meeting leader is free to get back to their core work function after the meeting since the AI toll will handle all the above menial but critical tasks on their behalf.
That future is here, and a large number of meetings are now held online via various video platforms. In a couple of months, most office workers have now turned to remote working, handling meeting tools that they barely heard of before the pandemic.
Every business has visions and goals and every so often, meetings and conversations are held by employees regarding the attainment of those goals and visions. An essential element in goal attainment and vision actualization is remembering, then executing action items agreed upon during meetings.
Action items may seem like one-off tasks, but viewed from a wider scope, they usually tend to be “projects” or components of a bigger project. Even sub tasks ca evolve into projects, for which separate meetings need to be planned and held. The point is, you may not anticipate this whole evolution of meetings and action points, but when it does happen, having previous records of everything keeps everyone accountable and goal-focused. With smart meeting records, you can ping-pong back and forth into your records and trace the origin of everything.
It’s so important to record action items and tools like Aira, with its automatic note-taking and transcription capabilities, help you do that. But what happens after taking action items? How do you ensure that everything on the list of action items gets done? More so, how do you manage resources and prevent things from falling through the cracks?
Where AI comes in
Human communication is seldom associated with Artificial intelligence; this is a new area of AI that when harnessed, can lead to better collaboration, more efficient communication and properly-managed projects. Phil Goldstein, web editor for FedTech and Biztech, echoes this sentiment in BizTechMagazine when he says, “AI-enhanced collaboration tools have the potential to increase efficiency, speed up the discovery of new ideas and lead to improved outcomes for teams that are working together in disparate locations”. (source: BizTechMagazine)
We are already seeing aspects of this with AI tools like Aira, that allow you log into different meetings no matter where you are.
Whether you work in logistics, finance, retail, sales, or marketing, you no doubt have meetings and action item list with ai from those meetings. Managing post-meeting tasks can however be complicated particularly when dealing with tools that are
Don’t have inbuilt capabilities to alert you of potential risks
Cannot introduce efficiency
Make time management more difficult
We are all human and despite best intentions, employees will drop the ball every now and again if meeting action items isn’t always top of mind. It can be difficult to stick to tasks if you don’t have the necessary tools to support you with that.
Simple, easy to use AI tools to help you stay ahead of tasks in the following ways:
One of the main ideas behind embedding AI into meetings is to eliminate the mundane, allowing people within organizations to channel their energy towards creating meaningful output with their time.
By automating meeting management with AI tools, we see:
Better collaboration workflows
Better and smarter transmission of information
Improved attention, more brainstorming and meaningful conversations
A better user experience
Tae away repetitive tasks. Automation leaves managers with enough time on their hands to manage parts that require the human touch.
Automation also reduces errors.
2. Risk management
Some tasks are interdependent. As well, despite your best planning, tasks are often susceptible to external changes, some of which are unpredictable or beyond your control. This introduces an element or risk, and as you may well know, human brains cannot always assess risk with certainty, especially when there are many probabilities involved. Knowing the possible existence of risks makes it easy for you to anticipate and manage them.
Tools that have AI capabilities learn from historical data to estimate or predict the likelihood of completing tasks on time. A tool like Aptage, for instance, has such capabilities and can actually identify possible sources of risks. Integrative capabilities with common project management tools like Trello or Microsoft project, analytics power tools like Salesforce or PowerBI, and CRM like Zapier, make AI-based meeting managers a valuable addition to your technology stack as they essentially give you the power to manage everything from one platform.
3. Time management
Action point management and achievement is all about:
Ensuring that goals are clear, and everyone knows what they are supposed to do
Ensuring that tasks are smoothly moving towards their completion dates
Coordinating between teams
AI-powered scheduling bots can assist managers to not just schedule meetings but to also manage their time around task completion.
4. Reminders and data management
Data shared in meetings can be difficult to manage. Some possible scenarios around data management include:
Some documents need collaborative work, making version management important
Some files need approval at certain milestone points
Team members also need reports on updates done on current documents.
Old documents need to be archived and/or retrieved
With AI bots, you can track meeting documentation and issue alerts if files or data isn’t updated as per schedule.
The days of playing scribe in meetings are over, thanks to AI-powered meeting management tools. Moving from desk to desk to follow up on action item progress should also be a thing of the past. There is a lot more efficiency to be gained from simply using AI to improve meetings. Tools like Aira are so simple to generate action item list with ai that even for those who aren’t technology-savvy, it’s simply a matter of plug and play.
Paul Axtell, Author of Meetings Matter, summarizes the importance of meetings in these words, “Meetings are really just a series of conversations — an opportunity to clarify issues, set direction, sharpen focus, and move objectives forward. To maximize their impact, you need to actively design the conversation.” The power to design and steer your conversations today lies with AI.
Your business landscape is more dynamic and complex than ever.
Today it takes more than just an idea and a product to give your business a smooth take off.
There is just so much that you need to take care of. Right from market research to product development to customer experience, it is the combined efficiency that decides the success of your business.
But, let’s look take a closer look at the situation.
What do you think that ties all these factors into one single string?
It is the right collaboration of talents that makes sure your organization gets to succeed.
But here is the chink in the armor.
Keeping your team members on the same page is no easy task.
It becomes pretty much an onus under some circumstances. Especially the team meetings and collaborations that happen in between distributed workforce.
So, what could be the possible solution here?
Enter, AI meeting summary.
Thus it is no brainer to guess why smart collaboration and meeting tools are gaining steady popularity.
Synergy Research estimates the collaboration market to see a rise by 9% by 2019, reaching $45 billion in revenue.
But to find out why there’s an upsurge in demand, we need to know the pain-problems in the traditional meeting model.
Key challenges your team faces in a traditional meeting?
Time redundancy consuming each other’s time is one of the significant problems that a team faces in their paths of working to the end goal. Also, team members who are habitual late comers eat up a lot of valuable work time.
Objective redundancy coming impromptu in a meeting is one of the chief setbacks in business. It is essential for the team head to craft clear cut objectives for the meeting. This way, you create the right expectations and facilitate better communications amongst your team members.
Quality redundancy taking notes, popularly known as “minutes of the meeting,” is one of the fundamental tasks in a meeting. But, doing this, you sacrifice your focus from the meeting to taking notes.
An AI meeting summary assistant makes sure it alleviates all these pain-problems along with bringing something more to your table: precision and user-experience.
But to find out how it adds to your team’s overall performance, you need to understand what it exactly is?
What is an AI meeting summary assistant?
Automated scheduling or the popular AI meeting summary assistant is one of the most prominent applications of the bleeding-edge AI technology. It is an AI-powered bot simulating human voice that makes improves the overall experience of meetings between teams.
From scheduling to planning to communicating real-time and taking minutes of the meeting, it automates the full event. It frees your valuable time to make sure you can focus on your work instead of meta-work.
Now, let’s see what are the key areas where an AI bot increases your team’s efficiency?
How can an AI meeting assistant augment your team’s performance?
Blending the best of AI and simulating human voice, a meeting assistant can bring you the following elements:
Enhanced focus eliminating distractions from doing work like taking notes and meeting arrangement tasks, an AI-assistant makes sure you focus on what matters, the meeting.
Improved productivity: Keeping everyone on the same page with real-time alterations and updates; it facilitates smoother communication between teams. Thus, you get a hassle-free, friction-proof collaboration experience.
Increased engagement: the power of machine learning, your AI-assistant can make sure it gives you the human feel at every interaction. But, like the human workforce, it does not err, making you eligible to experience the best of both worlds.
But, with the market flooding with options and features, it is easy to get into the “over-analysis paralysis” syndrome.
Making your decision-making more comfortable, here are the key features to note when you decide to choose your AI meeting summary assistant.
Top features to look for in your AI meeting summary assistant
It may seem obvious, but keep this advice in mind. The main goal of your AI meeting assistant is to make you’re work-life easy.
It cannot flout on this element.
So, while you choose your tool, your primary focus should be on its effectiveness and its degree of user-friendly.
Following are critical capabilities that can make your decision confident:
Schedule meeting: This is perhaps the most crucial feature that your tool shall facilitate you with. This feature must be hassle-free and fast.
Re-scheduling: Easy re-scheduling feature is absolutely essential for the last minute changes in your meetings.
Conflict resolution: Conflicts and meetings are almost synonymous. Thus, if your AI meeting assistant cannot help you to resolve conflicts between teammates, you lack the fullest capabilities.
Automatic transcription: While you are in your meeting, your AI-meeting assistant shall automatically record your meeting minutes and transcribe for your future use. This should be fast, precise, and easy.
Flexibility: Gone are those eras when a business could run successfully on silo models. Integration is a crucial feature to determine the usability of a tool today.
If your AI-meeting assistant doesn’t allow you enhanced integration with the most popular productivity tools in the market, reconsider your decision.
Note sharing: It is essential that your tool allows easy note sharing and highlights of meetings amongst team members. It is a huge win to keep everyone on the same page.
AIRA is cloud-based, conversation-friendly, and goal-oriented. That means you can now be sure you are on point with your meetings every time.
It has 24/7 help support and secure integration that allows your seamless synchronization between google tools, calendar, and much more – also, it’s 100% safe.
Its encryption technology makes sure all your conversations are super-private.
No matter what is the size of your team, 20 or 200, clear communication can turn tables for your organization. Investing in an AI meeting summary assistant can increase your productivity by leaps and bounds.